The new 2019 page heading designer

SuperBeam | ProSteel | EuroBeam

Heading Designer screen

Introduction

The page heading editor in releases to SuperBeam 7.06, ProSteel 7.06 and EuroBeam 3.10 dates back to the introduction of ProSteel 1 in 1993. It handled the heading as an 8x4 matrix of cells, each of which could optionally contain text (in one of four user-selected fonts) and/or be surrounded by lines on one or more sides.

The new heading designer, now available in EuroBeam 3.19, SuperBeam 3.19 and ProSteel 3.19 is much more flexible. It will also be available as a standalone application so you can ask a non-engineer to set up your page heading for you. Notes for existing users

The heading area starts as a blank canvas on which you can place one or more of the following, positioned as you wish:

Units

IMPORTANT: : In the new designer you enter positions, dimensions and thicknesses in 'units', where one unit = heading width/1000. Thus 0 is the left edge of the heading, 1000 the right edge. For A4 paper one unit is a fraction less than 0.2mm. Example: a circle with a centre at 950,50 and a radius of 50 will just touch the top and right edges of the heading, whatever the printer.

This may seems a bit arcane: whole digit percentages would have been much easier to explain but would give a resolution of about 2mm, too coarse where different elements have to be aligned accurately.

Using the heading designer

The screen

The heading designer window is divided into the following areas:

  1. Menu: Split into File (open, save etc), Edit (cut, copy, paste, reorder), Add (text etc), Move, Help.
  2. Toolbar: provides a quick way of selecting the most used menu options
  3. Preview pane: shows what your heading will look like.
  4. Item list: This lists the various items (text, lines etc) making up the heading. At print time items are rendered in the order in which they appear in this list, so if two overlap the second will be printed over the first.
  5. Properties pane: This shows the properties (e.g. position, colour, border thickness) for the currently selected item. The contents reflect the currently selected item.
  6. Quick add pane: Used for text items incorporating % replaceable parameters (these are unchanged from earlier releases).
  7. Configuration options bar: Change the colour picker style, x and y grid increments.

Menu options

The options marked with an asterisk have a corresponding toolbar button.

  1. File: New, Open*, Save*, Save As*, Print*, Exit are all self explanatory.
  2. Edit: Cut*, Copy*, Paste* perform these operations on the selected item. Note that your cannot copy or paste a page border; each heading can have no more than one border.
  3. Add: Text*, Line*, Rectangle*, Circle*, Ellipse*, Polygon*, Image*, Page Border*. See below for more details.
  4. Move: Left*, Right*, Up*, Down*. The selected item is moved by the distance shown in the selector on the configuration options bar (x: left/right; y: up/down).
  5. Help: Online help (this page), About

Adding items to your heading

To quickly initialise the position of your new item, click on the preview pane as outlined below before selecting the appropriate 'Add' option from the menu or toolbar.

  1. Text: Clicking on the preview pane sets the anchor point. Select/press Add Text and in the fields provided enter the text, select the required font and the text position (horizontally and vertically) with respect to the anchor point. If the text position needs adjusting, change the x or y position field or use the appropriate Move button. To change the font, press the button at the end of the font line and select the font you want. The two buttons at the end of this line save the current font and change the current font to the previously saved one.
  2. Line: For speed, click twice on the preview, once for each end (hold the shift key down while clicking for the second time to get a horizontal or vertical line). Select Add Line and select the line thickness and colour, adjusting the end coordinates if necessary.
  3. Rectangle: For speed, click twice on the preview, marking the top left and bottom right corners. Select Add Rectangle and select the fill colour, adjusting the corner coordinates if necessary. Optionally, set the border thickness (0=no border), border colour and border radius (0=square corners).
  4. Circle: For speed, click twice on the preview, marking the centre, then a point on the circle. Select Add Circle and select the fill colour, adjusting the centre coordinates and radius if necessary. Optionally, set the border thickness (0=no border) and colour.
  5. Ellipse: For speed, click twice on the preview, marking the top left and bottom right corners or the bounding rectangle. Select Add Ellipse and select the fill colour, adjusting the centre coordinates and x or y radii if necessary. Optionally, set the border thickness (0=no border) and colour.
  6. Polygon: Select Add Polygon. A text field is provided where you can define the polygon as a series of x,y coordinates (in units as above), comma separated. These numbers can have one decimal place for greater precision. For example 50,50,150,50,150,150,50,150 would define a square with sides 100 units long - note that a closing line is automatically drawn from the last point to the first.
    For regular polygons, press the button at the end of the line to activate the Polygon Wizard. Enter the number of points, centre x/y, the radius (from centre to apexes) and the angle measured from the centre to the first apex from vertical. Thus to get the square above, you'd enter centre 100,100 radius 70.7, start angle 45. If you entered a start angle of 0, you'd get a diamond orientated square. Select the fill colour and optionally set the border thickness (0=no border) and colour.
  7. Page border: Select Add Border and enter the insets of the border on each side. Set the border thickness, border colour and border radius (0=square corners).

Notes for existing users

When you first run a copy of SuperBeam, ProSteel or EuroBeam that incorporates the new heading editor, it will convert existing 8x4 headings to the new format. The conversion may not be perfect: you may need to adjust the positions of text or lines.

The Configuration, Page Layout option is now called Page Margins. Margins are now measured from the page edge (previously they were measured from the bounds of the page printable area) and are the same for all printer and PDF output (previously you could set up different margins for each printer, now you don't need to). Existing values are not carried forward; change the new defaults if necessary

If you have more than one of our programs, page margins and copy allocations are now shared between them